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Jerrod Carmichael Says Dave Chappelle Is an “Egomaniac” Who Wanted a Public Apology After He Questioned His Anti-Trans Legacy

Jerrod Carmichael is sharing more details surrounding his relationship with fellow comedian Dave Chappelle.

The Jerrod Carmichael Reality Show star spoke to Esquire for its digital April cover and shed some further light on what happened between him and Chappelle following the latter’s anti-trans jokes in the special The Closer.

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Carmichael first spoke out about his fellow stand-up comedian in a 2022 interview with GQ, during which he asked, “Chappelle, do you know what comes up when you Google your name, bro? That’s the legacy? Your legacy is a bunch of opinions on trans shit? It’s an odd hill to die on.”

The actor came out as gay in his 2022 stand-up special, Rothaniel, which Chappelle called “the bravest special for 1996.” The Poor Things star told Esquire that specific comment has stayed with him ever since. “It’s like, that’s a funny enough line, whatever, but I wonder if he gets the irony that the fact that you are mocking it even then is why it was hard,” he said.

Throughout Reality Show, Carmichael opens up about his conflict with his sexuality, even going as far as allowing his Christian mother to pray to “take the desire” away. He explained to the publication that he still thinks that if someone says they’re gay, something is wrong with them — himself included.

“So much of comedy is just gay jokes,” he said. “As long as people continue to laugh at it and mock it, and as long as it’s a punchline, it’s going to be scary for somebody. It’s scary for me.”

Despite his original comments about Chappelle, Carmichael clarified that he didn’t think the comedian was revealing anything personal about himself with them because “he’s removed from what he’s talking about.” The Carmichael Show co-creator was simply trying to note that he thinks Chappelle is “smarter than that and deeper than that and has more interesting thoughts.”

While Carmichael meant his comments to serve as constructive criticism for Chappelle, they weren’t taken that way. “He took it as, ‘Fuck Dave Chappelle,’ because he’s an egomaniac,” Carmichael noted. “He wanted me to apologize to him publicly or some shit.”

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